Sunday, August 21, 2016, 2:10pm
The New England Patriots drafted Boyce in the fourth round in 2013. He has appeared in 10 games with three starts. Boyce, 5-foot-11 and 205 pounds, has compiled nine catches for 121 yards.
He spent most of this year with the Indianapolis Colts until they waived him Aug. 16.
Parks signed with the Browns on May 20 as an undrafted rookie. He's dealing with a knee injury.
At best, Coleman is the fourth receiver on New Orleans’ roster after being outperformed by rookie Michael Thomas this summer. But he needs to show vast improvement over the next two weeks to keep that job safe.
Sunday, August 21, 2016, 2:05pm
Good luck trying to get Paul Turner to talk about himself.
Not just with the media. With his teammates, too.
“He’ll make a big play, he’ll act like it didn’t even happen,” Jordan Matthews said with a laugh. “He just goes right back to the huddle.”
Turner, a quiet, humble undrafted rookie wide receiver from Louisiana Tech, has been opening eyes both in practice and in the preseason games with his playmaking ability.
In an underachieving wide receiver group, he’s really stood out.
It’s rare for undrafted rookie wideouts to make the Eagles’ roster. Rarer still for them to contribute. Exceptions are Hank Baskett and Greg Lewis, the latter of whom is now Turner’s position coach. The Eagles WRs haven't been all that great in camp so there's a chance Turner could make the team, but it's still hard to imagine he'd pass guys like Nelson Agholor or Rueben Randle for a significant fantasy role.
It wouldn't be a surprise to see the Patriots add a big, young running back to the mix, but they may want to wait until other teams trim their rosters. The Chiefs and Titans, for example, have several young running backs that are in danger of not making the 53-man roster.
The story was about the team possibly picking up recently-released Bills RB Karlos Williams. However Williams was passed by other Bills RBs on the depth chart and remains out of shape despite an impressive rookie season last year. However, the Pats are probably seeing the last year of RB LeGarrette Blount, so Williams could at least be a project guy for the future.
This one stings, as Lewis was shaping up as a great value in the 4th/5th round after looking good in spring practices. It's not clear what sort of surgery Lewis needs. If it's a scope, he might only be out a month, but if they need to do a ligament repair, it will take longer. (Update: Adam Schefter described it as a "clean up" procedure, which makes it possible that he will return at some point in the season.) In the meantime, James White is likely to take his place in the lineup. White averaged 6.7 touches (including 4.7 catches on 6.4 T/G) for 53.1 yards and 0.57 touchdowns in seven games that Lewis was sidelined. That equates to solid RB1 numbers in PPR formats (RB2 in standard). He's not going to get the running work that Lewis would have, but he should take over the pass-catching role and turn in RB2 numbers in PPR formats. The news also gives LeGarrette Blount a bump, since he's likely to see a few extra carries assuming he remains in the "big back" role. Tyler Gaffney is pushing Blount for work, but Blount has run well in the preseason.
Redskin running backs actually fared better than I originally thought while watching the game. Maybe that’s a function of low expectations, but in general there was more to build on than in the game against the Falcons.
That’s not to say “problem solved” but just that at least it wasn’t a lost cause. There were more yards after contact, for example. Matt Jones' biggest issue, of course, is durability. But he showed more of what he could do, less stutter-stepping through holes. There was at least one run in which Jones again opted to try to bounce rather than lower his shoulder against a defensive back; coaches don’t like that. So it wasn’t perfect and I still have big questions about the run game this season, but there were more positives than in the preseason opener.
Of course the big issues is Jones now has a banged up shoulder and the team doesn't really have a clear, proven backup. However, it's a bit of good news for the run game it made some progress in Preseason Week 2, at least according to this author. Washington isn't giving up on the run, but many feel the team is poised to throw a lot again in 2016.
In his second preseason game, WR Will Fuller showed the crowd at NRG Stadium just how valuable he was with the Texans first-round draft pick in 2016. On a deep pass to the right side of the field, Fuller made a leaping catch for a 19-yard touchdown. It was the first of his NFL career.
In the 16-9 win over the Saints, Fuller led the Texans wide receivers with four receptions for 73 yards and the score. We have Fuller 63rd on our list and he's getting some late-round draft attention. We're not ruling out Jaelen Strong making a push either, but right now the WR2 job appears to be Fuller's.
Sixth-year tight end Virgil Green, who caught 12 passes for 173 yards in 2015, is making a strong case that 2016 may be his breakout season for the Broncos. Saturday night’s opening drive was a prime example of Green’s potential in the Broncos’ passing game.
On consecutive plays on that first drive, Green caught short passes from Siemian and stretched the catches into double-digit gains. He pushed the Broncos forward 28 yards with those two catches as Denver went from its own 25-yard line to the Niners’ 47-yard line.
“It was a play-action the first play,” Green said. “Wide-open [and] Trevor [Siemian] threw me a nice ball. Caught it, tried to do what I could after the catch. Then, the screen, they rushed a guy, dropped a lot of guys. There was one guy sitting on the sideline. [I] ran past him.”
Jeff Heuerman missed Saturday’s game with a hamstring injury and is having “a hard time staying healthy,” Head Coach Gary Kubiak said. Green has been consistently available since recovering from a finger injury that kept him out of OTAs in the spring, the story all said. We've had other reports about the team re-introducing the TE into the offense, so things could be shaping up for a Green breakout. He's an interesting TE2 draft option who has the chance to climb out charts. But keep in mind his QB situation remains a big question mark and could cap his fantasy potential.
This is a defining week when it comes to the Patriots’ plans with running back Dion Lewis, who remains on the physically-unable-to-perform list as he rehabs from a torn ACL sustained Nov. 8.
Lewis’ rehab has gone well, he took part in the final practice of the spring, and if there were a Super Bowl to be played today, I believe he’d be on the field. At the same time, coach Bill Belichick always considers the big picture and builds his team in a way that positions it to be at its strongest when it counts.
With that in mind, and considering Lewis’ injury history, does Belichick see value in Lewis opening the season on the reserve/PUP list to give him almost a full calendar year before he takes the field again? Lewis would miss the first six games in that scenario. I believe Belichick is considering it, and if we don’t see Lewis on the practice field by the end of this week -- as the Patriots prepare for the “dress rehearsal” third preseason game at Carolina -- that scenario becomes a much stronger possibility.
This isn't the first time we've seen beat writers talking about Lewis staying on the PUP list and missing the first six games of the season. However, we've seen others who follow the team disagree as well. This sounds like it could be a big week for that decision so owners and potential owners want to continue to follow his progress.
Sunday, August 21, 2016, 9:53am
One of the many storylines from Friday night's game was the DNP for rookie quarterback Christian Hackenberg. Coach Todd Bowles had said "the plan" was to get Hackenberg a few snaps, but he decided to play only three quarterbacks. "Coach's decision," Bowles said after the game, explaining why the second-round pick was kept in mothballs for another week. Pressed, Bowles reiterated, "Coach's decision."
It's an interesting dynamic. I'm sure general manager Mike Maccagnan would like to see the potential quarterback of the future in action, but his coach's job is to evaluate players for the present. The Jets will be closer to a regular-season mode as they prepare for the Giants, meaning another week of watching and learning for the rookie.
Hackenberg probably won't play until the preseason finale against the Philadelphia Eagles. Naturally, we'll be monitoring the division of practice reps between Geno Smith and Bryce Petty, whose emergence has added intrigue to the backup-QB situation, the story said. For now, Hackenberg seems out of the Jets QB picture.
Dolphins Jordan Cameron, in his sixth NFL season, has the potential to be a fine NFL tight end. I've seen it. I saw what he did to the Dolphins in that 2013 regular season opener. He caught nine passes for 108 yards that day. And that wasn't his best game that season.
But Cameron has the look of a player needing to be built up now.
He has the look of a player either lacking in confidence or worrying too much about the results.
Cameron needs to be reminded to trust the process of playing his position. Trust his abilities. Trust his training. Trust that if he handles that business, the results will come.
That's not how he's playing now.
The story went on to say, Gase's offense is TE friendly. But, Cameron struggled in the offseason. He struggled early in camp. And Friday against Dallas he had an almost certain TD catch from Tannehill on a short slant in the red zone. But he juggled and dropped it. And he didn't seem to recover strong after that -- another sign he needs a confidence boost. So this week of practice, which starts Sunday afternoon for the Dolphins, could be pivotal for Cameron.
Sunday, August 21, 2016, 9:47am
Ryan Mallett led the Baltimore Ravens to an upset victory over the rival Pittsburgh Steelers eight months ago. He has a 99.5 quarterback rating and a 74 percent completion rate through two preseason games.
Despite that success, Mallett could lose the backup quarterback job to surprisingly electric journeyman Josh Johnson, according to coach John Harbaugh.
In Baltimore's 19-18 preseason win at the Indianapolis Colts, Johnson led the team in passing and rushing, showing great touch on his throws and the ability to scramble for yards. His best moment came when he directed a near flawless two-minute drill before halftime, driving the Ravens 79 yards with poise and hitting Jeremy Butler for a 12-yard touchdown.
"[Johnson] is making a case to make this team," Harbaugh said after the game. "There is a competition for that spot. It's been on-going through training camp."
The story said it's been long assumed that Mallett is the primary backup to Joe Flacco. He took all the first-team reps in the spring when Flacco was sidelined while recovering from knee surgery, and he started both preseason games.
“It’s difficult playing like crap on two plays and ruining an opportunity. That’s difficult,” Sanchez said after the game.
Aside from those two fumbles, Sanchez didn’t play badly, completing 10 of 17 passes for 120 yards, with no interceptions.
As the story said, Trevor Siemian, who started at quarterback, didn’t have a great game, completing 10 of 14 passes for 75 yards, with no touchdowns and a pick-six. Siemian’s struggles may be good news for Sanchez, but it’s a bad sign for the Broncos that no one is emerging as the clear starter in Denver.
The Kansas City Chiefs have been looking for a productive wide receiver other than Jeremy Maclin. Chris Conley was that player for the Chiefs in their 21-20 preseason loss to the Rams in Los Angeles on Saturday night.
Conley had three catches for a team-high 66 yards. He delivered a big play on each of the Chiefs’ two touchdown drives and another on one of their field goal drives.
Conley beat one-on-one coverage on each of his first two receptions. The first one came on a third-and-5 from the Rams’ 13. Conley caught a back-shoulder throw from quarterback Alex Smith and was tackled on the 2. Conley’s biggest play came on the next touchdown drive. He got open deep down the right sideline on third-and-2 from the Kansas City 33 and caught a 37-yard pass from Smith. The play helped set up a Maclin touchdown catch.
This isn't the first item we had on Conley, as he's been drawing attention through camp. Conley missed much of training camp last year. He pointed out that in 2015, as a rookie, he was only returning to practice from an injury the second week of the preseason, the story said. This year, he didn’t miss a day of practice at camp, so he has a much better grasp of the offensive system. He's just 73rd on our WR list and figures to be behind Maclin and TE Travis Kelce as far as the team's top targets go.
Bills General Manager Doug Whaley called the move “strictly performance based” as far as cutting Karlos Williams, and that he was “so far out of reach” of his target weight that other backs were zooming past him on the depth chart.
“I think it’s just all on the field,” Whaley said, via the Buffalo News. “I mean, if he’s not out there being able to perform and he can’t perform at the level we expect him to, then that’s on him. So it’s not a question. I always say the information makes the decision and the information was he wasn’t ready to play and guys underneath him surpassed him.”
The suspension and lack of conditioning may keep teams from clamoring to add Williams immediately, but last year’s work should help him when he’s eligible to play and if he can get himself back into football shape. It looks like Mike Gillislee figures to serve as LeSean McCoy's backup with Jonathan Williams and Reggie Bush also in the mix.